Together in Loneliness

For anyone who needs to hear this: you are not alone. It’s hard for a lot of people to know that, especially when their mind convinces them otherwise, and if you fall under that spell, do me a favor and read the first sentence again. And again. And as many times as you need until you can feel all of us from SOVA right next to you. We may all be anonymous, but we’re here together to support each other.

Loneliness is a universal human emotion, therefore we all experience it, though in our own ways. No one is immune to it, even those constantly around other people. This time of year is when the grips of loneliness tend to tighten. All of a sudden you have people who normally wouldn’t struggle start to feel like they’re by themselves. This year in particular has been especially tenacious in recruiting those kind of people- and even better at escalating those feelings in people who already struggle– due to the interruption of our normalcies. The fact that we can’t have the same holiday traditions that tend to bring us comfort, along with the decreased person-to-person contact we can have, has exponentially increased the manifestation of loneliness.

I was on Instagram and I saw a post talking about coping mechanisms for feeling lonely. Here’s what the post said:

  1. Acknowledge your feelings. Take control of your loneliness by naming it. Studies have found that labeling your feelings can actually reduce the intensity of them.
  2. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself the same compassion you’d offer a friend or loved one if they told you they were feeling lonely.
  3. Reach out to your loved ones.
  4. Avoid the unrealistic expectations trap, especially when it comes to social media.
  5. Volunteer your time.

Remember that you are not alone, and having feelings like this (or anything else deemed “negative”) is OKAY! You do not have to feel ashamed of it. Everyone is right there with you feeling it, too.

Have you been feeling lonelier than usual lately? How has social media helped, or even negatively impacted, your loneliness?

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